"The Childe...More restless than the swallow in the skies..." -Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Earth Lights via NASA and NOAA

For all the grandeur of flying on a clear day, flying on a clear night can be mesmerizing. Thanks to space-based observation and composite imaging, the view keeps getting better and better. Far from being mere eye candy, such views help humanity save life and protect property. Our knowledge of weather, including anticipating events like Hurricane Sandy, is dependent on satellite observation.

Don't sell yourself short. Go see this image in its full-size version.

Credit: NASA Earth Observatory/NOAA NGDC

Other images, including video and a slide show, are available here. These come via a partnership between NASA and NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). They jointly operate a new satellite that makes highly sensitive nighttime observations of our planet's surface and atmosphere. The mission is called the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP). The goal is learning more about long-term climate change as well as short-term weather phenomena.


  1. I saw this image on the news the other day and loved it. I just knew you would post about it. Thanks for the link to all the other pictures. I especially liked the 'black marble' picture. Great stuff!!

  2. So happy to learn this image and the mission behind it garnered some news coverage!